Despite vast advancements in research and treatment, cancer consistently ranks as the second leading cause of death among Americans. This troubling statistic makes a timely and accurate diagnosis extremely important. The Baltimore, Maryland and Washington DC medical malpractice lawyers of Schochor and Staton, P.A. recognize the urgency of these circumstances. We seek to empower our clients with the knowledge they need to protect themselves and hopefully avoid a fatal cancer misdiagnosis.
A Few of the Deadliest Cancers when Diagnosis is Delayed or Missed
As determined by the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) five-year survival rate reports, these are a few of the deadliest cancers when diagnosis is delayed or missed:
- When diagnosed as Stage 1, colon cancer has a 92% five-year survival rate. That percentage drops to 87% with a Stage 2A diagnosis and 63% with a 2B diagnosis. The five-year survival rate for colon cancer diagnosed in Stage 3B is only 53%. These statistics are even more disturbing if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Stage 4 colon cancer has a disheartening five-year survival rate of only 11%.
- Timely diagnosis is extremely important with a breast cancer diagnosis. A Stage 0 or Stage 1, diagnosis carries an optimistic 100% five-year survival rate. Yet, a Stage 3 diagnosis falls to a 72% survival rate, and a Stage 4 diagnosis that has spread to other parts of the body only has a 22% rate of survival.
- When diagnosed and treated in its earliest stages, the five-year survival rate for melanoma is estimated at 98% if it has not spread to other parts of the body. The survival rate drops to 63% if the melanoma has spread to the lymph nodes, and to a dismal 17% if it has spread to other parts of the body.
Quick and accurate diagnosis is key to timely and successful treatment of these cancers. Unfortunately, medical professionals often fall short in these areas of practice, so it is important to take proactive measures for the promotion of proper diagnosis and treatment. Here are some steps to avoiding misdiagnosis of these deadly conditions:
- Record your symptoms: Keep track of your symptoms, including date and time, along with the severity of the symptom.
- Don’t ignore any new symptoms: Communicate with your physician by providing complete and specific reports of your symptoms and concerns.
- Know your history: Your medical history is important to a cancer diagnosis. Keep a record of your medical procedures, diagnoses and prescriptions.
- Second opinions: Don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion, especially if you do not feel comfortable with the response of your initial doctor.
- Ask questions: Ask questions and continue asking them until they are answered completely.
Contact An Attorney for Assistance
If you or a family member was impacted by a delayed or missed cancer diagnosis, secure representation from the Baltimore, Maryland and Washington DC medical malpractice attorneys of Schochor and Staton, P.A. Contact our office at 410-234-1000 or click here to schedule a free consultation.